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Christopher Ward C65 Sandstorm Review

I’m starting to get excited every time I see a new Worn & Wound collaboration watch announcement. Their last few releases have all been top notch and they are collaborating with several great watch brands.  Not too long ago I took a look at the Boldr Venture Worn & Wound LE and it quickly became my favorite Venture iteration.

Worn & Wound is back at it with their latest partnership. The Christopher Ward C65 Sandstorm is the latest collaboration to drop and it may be their best one yet. I’m a fan of most of Christopher Ward’s watches and Worn & Wound’s design aesthetic. Throw in that they are using the C65 lineup as a base and you’ve got a great formula. Let’s take a closer look at the Sandstorm.

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On the Wrist

I had a good idea of how this watch was going to feel because it uses the Christopher Ward lightcatcher case. The case is essentially a smaller version of the C65 Dartmouth (review here). The Dartmouth is my favorite-fitting Christopher Ward and the smaller-sized Sandstorm feels even better. Even though the case isn’t the thinnest available on the market, it feels like it is because of the various cuts and finishing changes on the sides of the case. Its 11.6mm case height feels more like 10mm; not an easy feat to achieve.

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If you’re a fan of smaller, fixed-bezel sport watches, the C65 Sandstorm is going to feel like a home run.  It comes in at 38mm wide with a modest 45.3mm lug-to-lug. Its small size isn’t without a lack of wrist presence thanks to the oversized crown. If you still want it to command a little more, the bracelet helps the watch feel slightly larger than it is.

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There’s a lot of steel on the C65 Sandstorm. The fixed bezel combined with the bracelet and the steel on the dial gives the C65 Sandstorm an almost overwhelming monochromatic look. I thought this was going to be a bit much for daily use, but the rest of the colors chosen help mitigate this. The red-tipped seconds hand and the icy-blue lume breaks it up a little. With that said, the C65 Sandstorm is made for straps and truly shines once off the bracelet.

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Because of all the steel, I was concerned that legibility might be an issue; however, the contrast created by the inner dark gray section of the dial allows the wearer to read the time quickly and without hindrance. The steel section of the dial created a phenomenon I’ve not seen on another watch when reading the time at night. The light is reflected off the steel and lights up the dial slightly, which gives the dial a glowing effect even without the lume glowing.

Dial Details

If you’re looking for a dial with a ton of depth, the C65 Sandstorm is what you want. The press images didn’t quite show how much depth there really is. The dial steps up and down multiple times as it comes inward from the bezel. The chapter ring is above the minute track, which is below the hour markers. The hour markers have a sandwich-dial look which adds even more.  There is a ton going on here, but as I mentioned above, the dial remains legible.

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The sector dial has numerous elements and while it looks like a time-only 3-hander, a date complication has been hidden within the dial. Similar to how the Christopher Ward Moonglow’s date complication was executed, the C65 Sandstorm uses a rotational date indicator. The numerals flank the inside of the markers and a small red block indicates the date. While it is well-executed and keeps the dial symmetrical, I found it to be difficult to read in all but bright lighting.

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The elements chosen for the dial of the C65 Sandstorm all work well together. The chunky handset contrasted by the thin-yet-modern hour cutouts are a perfect pairing. The icy-blue lume complements the steel and dark gray on the rest of the dial.

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Case & Bracelet

I say it in all my Christopher Ward reviews and it is still true today; they are making the best cases available from any watch brand. Period. The lightcatcher series is an achievement in case design and doesn’t get enough attention.

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The way the lightcatcher case is executed with the C65 Sandstorm makes the whole package even better. Stepping down from the box sapphire crystal is the brushed fixed bezel. The bezel has a small polished chamfer that steps back in with a small cut into the midcase. The midcase has more brushed and polished cut-ins as it moves towards the caseback. This creates a case that is comfortable on the wrist and looks good.

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The watch has a liquid metal look to it with all the steel on the dial and case. The crystal adds to this effect and the only other watch that I’ve felt has this look is the Omega Speedmaster. Perhaps it is the various brushed and polished surfaces and where they are placed, but the effect created is pleasing to look at.

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A large screw-down crown adorns the C65 Sandstorm. The crown is easy to grip and a pleasure to wind because of its size. The crown operates the Sellita SW200 chronometer-grade movement beating away inside. You read that right: chronometer. You will receive a chronometer certificate with your watch that will display the timing tolerances observed on the movement.

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I received the C65 Sandstorm on the bracelet, and this is one of the rare times you will hear me say this. Skip the bracelet. It has nothing to do with the bracelet itself; it is a great bracelet. It has a quick-release system to remove it from the watch without tools as well as a quick-microadjust system. This is present on all new Christopher Ward watches. This issue is how it looks with the watch itself. It looks like a straight-up chunk of steel with the bracelet on. It was a little overwhelming for me but if this is a look you prefer then ignore what I just said.

Final Thoughts

The C65 Sandstorm is easily my favorite Worn & Wound collaboration. I believe part of the reason for that is that they created a new watch, not just a new color iteration of an existing watch. Granted, that alone isn’t the reason it is my favorite. The watch is wonderful on its own merit.

Fixed-bezel sport watches seem to be the next big thing and if there is any outlet to let us know that is the case, Worn & Wound is most likely it (aside from Watch Clicker of course). They’ve felt strongly enough in this to make an investment in the C65 Sandstorm collaboration and have done a bang-up job in doing so. The C65 Sandstorm was one of the final watches introduced in 2020 and it became one of my favorite releases of the entire year. Once again, Worn & Wound has knocked it out of the park.

Check out more Christopher Ward reviews at The Watch Clicker

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Christopher Ward C65 Sandstorm Specs

Case Width

38mm

Thickness

11.6mm

Lug-to-Lug

45.3mm

Lug Width

20mm

Crystal

Sapphire

Strap

Bracelet

Water Resistance

150m

Lume

Yes

Movement

Sellita SW200 COSC

Price

$1,205

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  1. It’s a shame they didn’t put a sapphire display on the back of the case to show off the movement.

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